Automotive

Review: 2020 Audi Q3 compact SUV delivers the goods

Review: 2020 Audi Q3 compact S...
The Q3 is the second-smallest of Audi's compact crossovers and its most compelling offering for entry-level buyers
The Q3 is the second-smallest of Audi's compact crossovers and its most compelling offering for entry-level buyers
View 11 Images
The Q3 is the second-smallest of Audi's compact crossovers and its most compelling offering for entry-level buyers
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The Q3 is the second-smallest of Audi's compact crossovers and its most compelling offering for entry-level buyers
The Q3's cockpit is nicely designed and the optional 12-inch, fully digital instrument cluster is a great touch
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The Q3's cockpit is nicely designed and the optional 12-inch, fully digital instrument cluster is a great touch
The front of the 2020 Audi Q3 features an aggressive grille and flat lower approach for a larger-than-it-is
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The front of the 2020 Audi Q3 features an aggressive grille and flat lower approach for a larger-than-it-is appeal
At the rear, the faster-paced roofline gives way to a wide and flat hatch opening which allows easy access to the cargo area
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At the rear, the faster-paced roofline gives way to a wide and flat hatch opening which allows easy access to the cargo area
The overall design of the 2020 Audi Q3, from the side, leans forward with an aggressive car-like stance
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The overall design of the 2020 Audi Q3, from the side, leans forward with an aggressive car-like stance
On the road, the Audi Q3 feels confident and well-mannered, though it's not sporty or fast when compared to others
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On the road, the Audi Q3 feels confident and well-mannered, though it's not sporty or fast when compared to others
There are downsides to the Q3, including its somewhat annoying turbo lag when getting up to highway speeds
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There are downsides to the Q3, including its somewhat annoying turbo lag when getting up to highway speeds
The Audi Q3 has a large cargo area that accommodates a lot more than the vehicle's size might suggest
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The Audi Q3 has a large cargo area that accommodates a lot more than the vehicle's size might suggest
Fuel economy in the 2020 Q3 was below expectation and sits below par for the compact crossover segment
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Fuel economy in the 2020 Q3 was below expectation and sits below par for the compact crossover segment
The 2020 Audi Q3's greatest weakness is in its cramped back seating
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The 2020 Audi Q3's greatest weakness is in its cramped back seating
Model upgrades for the 2020 Audi Q3 add more interior bling and a larger infotainment screen
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Model upgrades for the 2020 Audi Q3 add more interior bling and a larger infotainment screen
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The Audi Q3 is among the smallest of the Audi SUVs and the easiest to get into, money-wise. It’s a compact crossover with plenty of features and decent interior room (overall) that makes a good everyday driver. There are some downsides, but for those looking for a solid entry-level luxury compact, the Audi presents a compelling choice.

At a glance:

  • Bigger than expected interior, though the back seat is cramped
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is well matched to the vehicle
  • Large cargo space with easy access
  • Attractive entry level pricing from $34,700

The Audi Q3 saw a complete redesign in 2019, bringing it up to par with the current crop of compact crossovers in the entry-level luxury market. On the outside, the 2020 model looks great, being part sports car and part SUV. It has a luxurious feel about it that promises some sportiness, and it’s got the crossover requirements covered as well, with an interior that offers more room than its size would indicate. It’s upscale enough to give luxury appeal though, in part because base level inclusions on the technology front are a bit lacking, the price is kept down. Pricing for the 2020 Q3 starts at US$34,700.

For that money, the 2020 Q3 comes standard with all-wheel drive, smartphone integration for infotainment and Bluetooth calling, heated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof. Leather upholstery, an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen (upgradable to 10.1), and forward collision warning with automatic braking are also standard. Many more upgrades are available in the other two packages offered for the Q3, boosting prices as far as $43,000 for the Prestige S Line trim level.

The Q3's cockpit is nicely designed and the optional 12-inch, fully digital instrument cluster is a great touch
The Q3's cockpit is nicely designed and the optional 12-inch, fully digital instrument cluster is a great touch

No matter the model chosen for the 2020 Audi Q3, the engine stays the same. The Q3 comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged to produce 228 hp (170 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque. This runs through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels.

The engine feels more than adequate for the Q3, though it doesn’t give a lot of muscle to the crossover. The 2020 Q3 is quick enough to not be boring, but not terribly fast when compared to its competition. Fuel economy is also a bit of a downer, with the EPA rating the Q3 at only 22 mpg combined (10.7 l/100km). We saw only 20 mpg (11.8 l/100km) as an average during our week with the vehicle.

As an everyday driver, the 2020 Audi Q3 is a good little ride. It feels confident around town, is easy to maneuver and park, and has good entry and exit ergonomics in the front seats. Storage can be a problem, with few places for gadgets and small items to be placed. Cargo is good, though, with 23.7 cubic feet (671 liters) available behind the rear seats and 48 cubic feet (1,359 liters) with those seats folded. That’s about 12 and 25 carry on bags, respectively, as a visual.

The 2020 Audi Q3's greatest weakness is in its cramped back seating
The 2020 Audi Q3's greatest weakness is in its cramped back seating

Our greatest beef with the Q3, in fact, is not with its lower than expected fuel economy or just about average handling characteristics. It’s with the little Audi’s back seat. Adults of normal size will have to squeeze to get in and won’t feel comfortable for anything but a short trip. Even children can find the Q3’s back seat a little cramped. Parents with kids in rear-facing safety seats will likely feel a little cheated as well. Outside of that back seat, however, we found little to complain about with the 2020 Audi Q3 – there's definite value to be found in the crossover’s price versus what it delivers.

Product Page: 2020 Audi Q3

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2 comments
Sandy Donald
Really disappointed no RS Q3 in the USA-- are you listening Audi?? Horsepower is a big selling point in the USA where gas is still cheap
michael_dowling
I cringe every time a story is printed flogging ICE cars. They should not be getting free publicity when they are helping make climate change worse.